By Karl Younkman
The Wellington Daily News
Wellington High senior, heavyweight Tyson Hodson, took the 1st place medal in his weight division, and the Crusaders finished a respectable 7th out of 15 teams in the Wellington Wrestling Tournament held Saturday at the high school.
Wellington totaled 120 team points, and placed six senior grapplers in the Championship and Consolation brackets. 6-A powerhouse Wichita Northwest won the tourney with 233 points, followed by Bishop Carroll High with 206 points. Mulvane High was close behind in third with 193 points.
Hodson won by decision over Bishop Carroll's Zach Jenkins 6-3 to earn his title, while amassing 26 total points for the day. In the 195 lb. division, Taylon Lamkin wrestled his way to the finals match but had to settle for 2nd after being pinned by Wichita North's Caleb Franklin in the first period.
At 152 lbs, Ben DeJarnett won by decision over Isaac Baily of Winfield High 11-7, to win the third place medal. DeJarnett, a 2nd team all-AVLCT selection last season and one of this year's Crusader team's state hopefuls, has high aspirations. "My goals are to crack the 1st team all-league this season and to qualify for state," Dejarnett said. "Just have to keep working hard and concentrate on staying on my feet until it's time to take him down."
Wellington coach Mitch McComb was proud of his senior wrestlers. "We looked better today (Saturday) than we did Thursday at Pratt," said McComb. "All my seniors qualified and wrestled hard. Lamkin is ranked second in 4A and I think he'll go back to state after finishing 6th last year."
Two other seniors finished 4th in the tournament. At 138 lbs. Andrew Horn lost a major decision to Daniel Thomas of El Dorado 9-1. Dalton Holt also was on the short end of his 220 lb. match to place 4th. In the 170 lb. class, Chance Haine salvaged a 5th place finish.
In the junior varsity gym, the Crusaders came away with three 1st place finishes while finishing 2nd in two other finals. Sophomores Brad Wiens (126lbs.), Graysen DeJarnett (132lbs.), and Chandler Hain (152lbs.), won the top medals for their weight divisions. Wiens and Hain won by decision, while DeJarnett pinned Austin Randolph of Clearwater High.
Sophomore Sage Ferguson was pinned by Chance Krutz of Mulvane High in his 113 lb. Championship match. Junior Vincent Ast took second after losing by decision 8-2 to Carrillo of Bishop Carroll in a 160 lb. contest. At 220 lbs., sophomore Jace Lowe took down Northwest's Joseph Gilbertson to win a 6-2 decision and claim the 3rd place medal.
The heavyweight junior varsity competition featured one of the more intriguing stories of the tournament. Junior Trey Coulter ended up losing to Northwest's Gage Fletcher in a 3-0 decision to settle for 4th place, but what he has gained and won over the last several years is more than can be measured in pounds.
Page 2 of 2 - When Coulter was a student in middle school, he was required to lose 60 pounds in order to be allowed to wrestle. From a top weight of 315 and over a period of 3 months, he finally made weight at 255 lbs. and was able to wrestle one match.
He then went on to some success as a freshman. In football, he was a starting offensive lineman this past season. In the challenge matches this wrestling season, Coulter suffered a concussion, so this tourney was his first competition. The 4th place finish affirms the hard work and support surrounding Trey.
"The weight loss started with a good diet," Trey remembers. "And the support of family and friends was great, as were the coaches." Trey's father, Terry, is proud beyond words of his son. "I really can't tell you how proud I am of him," said Terry. "He's been working out constantly."
Trey wants to use his wrestling experience to better prepare himself for football next season. "My goal is to get stronger and faster," said Trey. "Wrestling is really helping me to keep in shape year round for football."
This inspiration, it seems, will help the whole squad this season. The Crusaders next travel to Marion, Dec. 20th, for a dual meet.